Mena project finance at $1trn is second after China

More than $1 trillion worth of projects are under way or in the pipeline in the Middle East (CRAIG SCARR)

An economic upsurge has turned the Middle East into the second largest market for project finance after China, with a total value of nearly $1 trillion (Dh3.67trn), according to estimates announced at yesterday's Middle East project finance conference in Abu Dhabi.

"As project finance deals are experiencing unprecedented growth with about a total of $1trn worth of projects that are under way or in the pipeline, the Middle East is indeed emerging as a strategic global hub for project financing," said Fleming Gulf, which organised the summit.

It said the financing activity covers several sectors, including oil, gas petrochemicals, infrastructure, utilities and real estate.

"These spurring and exponential developments in each industrial segment of the Middle East are substantial enough to place the region second only to China as a focus for project finance over the next years," said Fleming Gulf, which is part of Jacob Fleming Group, a key global business intelligence organisation. "As the business has transferred dramatically from past few decades, there seems to be no dearth for project finance opportunities and such prosperity is likely to continue at the same pace over next decade or longer."

It gave no breakdown but the UAE and other Gulf Co-operation Council states account for the bulk of project activity in the region, mainly in real estate, infrastructure, hydrocarbon and power generation.